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Hoeppner, Williams create Element Athletics

Field hockey in Franklin County has gotten a bit of a makeover in 2013.

Lynn Hoeppner, the former director of field hockey at Indoor Action Sports in Greenfield, has bought out the field hockey program from IAS and is co-owner of Element Athletics. Sarah Williams is the other co-owner of the company along with Hoeppner.

As part of the buyout arrangement, Hoeppner will continue to run the same programs at IAS for at least the next two years and will rent space from IAS to use during the winter months to run Element’s programs out of. Financial aspects of the agreement were undisclosed.

Hoeppner, the varsity field hockey coach at Mohawk Trail Regional High School, first started at IAS in 2004 and became director of field hockey in 2005. Her club programs, which takes players of all ages to tournaments all around the country, has seen rapid growth since she first took over.

“I started out with 16 players and we grew from there,” Hoeppner recalled.

Today, the program boasts 160 players of all ages, beginning with the under-10 program up through post-collegiate players. Hoeppner took numerous teams, including an adult squad, to the National Field Hockey Festival, which was held in West Palm Beach, Fla., this past year and is the largest field hockey tournament in the world, with more than 200 teams.

Hoeppner said that her biggest goal is to continue to grow the program, especially at the youth level, which is the most important to help maintain the sport in Franklin County.

“The younger we can get the girls the better,” she said. “We really want to see field hockey grow to the level it is in Europe. It’s a family event there. Kids play and parents play.”

Hoeppner has 17 coaches listed on the company website to run the various teams at Element. She said that each coach is closely researched by her and Williams before they are hired to make sure the players are getting the best possible teachers to help better them.

“They are all hand-selected,” Hoeppner said. “We recruit coaches the way we recruit players. We call former coaches and ask questions to see how they will fit into our program.”

The name Element Athletics refers to the fact that the team names are Team Fire, Team Air, Team Earth and Team Water. For more information about Element Athletics go to element-athletics.com.

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